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It’s called the Socratic Method. Learning by interrogation. Every teacher knows that you can get the response you want out of a student if you just ask the right question. They’ve applied the same principle to poll respondents.
The Chicago Teachers Union released a new poll today, revealing that almost everybody likes teachers and thinks they should be paid more money. Also, everybody hates school bureaucrats.
Here are some results of the poll, which was conducted by Lake Research Partners:
Nearly three-quarters of Chicago voters have a favorable impression of public school teachers (74% favorable to 15% unfavorable), and nearly as many rate the job being done by Chicago public school teachers positively (60% “excellent”/ “good” to 30% “just fair”/ “poor”). A solid majority of voters also holds positive opinions of the Chicago Teachers’ Union (55% favorable to 22% unfavorable).
By contrast, voters are highly critical of the Board of Education and CEO Brizard. By margins of more than two-to-one, voters rate negatively the jobs being done by the Board of Education (25% “excellent”/ “good” to 63% “just fair”/ “poor”) and Brizard (14% to 31%).
There is little appetite for cutting either the number of teachers or their salaries. Roughly two-thirds of Chicago voters (65%) oppose canceling the 4% cost of living increases for public school teachers, with a solid majority of voters (55%) strongly opposed. Just 22% of voters support canceling the 4% raise.
Instead, voters would far rather have the city stop authorizing tax breaks for developers, a giveaway that drains 250 million dollars from Chicago schools. Nearly eight in ten voters support this proposal (77%), including 66% who support it strongly; just 24% oppose it.
Moreover, the vast majority of voters believe that a longer work day should translate into more pay for Chicago Public Schools teachers. Fully 71% of voters believe that teachers should be paid more if the school day and year were lengthened 1.5 hours per day and two weeks per year, including 56% who feel that way strongly.
Cleverly, the teachers pitted their popularity against the unelected Board of Education and real-estate developers. (Have you ever seen a movie where a real estate developer was the hero? He’s always the bad guy.) That’s like polling Mr. Peepers against Richard Speck. Teachers are as beloved as firemen, LOLCats or butter pecan ice cream. The fact that 15 percent gave teachers an unfavorable rating just demonstrates there are cranks who’ll say no to anything.
“This poll shows that Chicago voters recognize that teachers are dedicated public servants who often work under difficult circumstances,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “Instead of blaming and attacking teachers and staging public relations campaigns, the Board of Education should focus on finding the revenue necessary to give all teachers the tools to educate our children.”
They couldn’t have gotten better answers if they’d paid for them.
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